Third party officeholders in the United States

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Third-party officeholders in the United States have been rare during the country's existence. Since 1856, the United States has had two major political parties: The Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The list below includes anyone who, while holding office as a U.S. Senator since the beginning of the Reconstruction era, was affiliated with a third party. Linked below are similar lists of U.S. Representatives, governors, and state legislators.

Third-party members of the United States Senate[edit]

Senator State Electoral history Years in office
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Joseph S. Fowler
Tennessee Elected as an Unconditional Unionist in 1866, became a Republican by 1867 1866–1871
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David T. Patterson
Tennessee Elected as a Unionist in 1866, became a Republican by 1867 1866–1869
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Charles Sumner
Massachusetts Elected as Free Soil Democratic in 1851, became a Republican in 1855, then became a Liberal Republican in 1872 1851–1874
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Morgan C. Hamilton
Texas Switched from Republican to Liberal Republican in 1872, switched back to Republican in 1875 1870–1877
Orris S. Ferry - Brady-Handy.jpg
Orris S. Ferry
Connecticut Elected as a Liberal Republican in 1872 1867–1875
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Newton Booth
California Elected as an Anti-Monopolist, served as an Ind. Republican 1875–1881
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William Mahone
Virginia Elected as a Readjuster 1881–1887
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Harrison H. Riddleberger
Virginia Elected as a Readjuster 1883–1889
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William A. Peffer
Kansas Elected as a Populist 1891–1897
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Marion Butler
North Carolina Elected as a Populist 1895–1901
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James H. Kyle
South Dakota Elected as a Populist 1891–1901
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William V. Allen
Nebraska Elected as a Populist 1893–1901
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William M. Stewart
Nevada Switched from Republican to Silver in 1893, then back to Republican in 1901 1887–1905
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John P. Jones
Nevada Switched from Republican to Silver in 1895, then back to Republican in 1901 1873–1903
Lee Mantle U.S. Senator from Montana (1895) by James Presley Ball (Detail).jpg
Lee Mantle
Montana Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1895–1899
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Richard F. Pettigrew
South Dakota Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1889–1901
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Frank J. Cannon
Utah Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1896–1899
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Fred Dubois
Idaho Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896 1891–1897
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Henry Moore Teller
Colorado Switched from Republican to Silver Republican in 1896, then to Democratic in 1903 1876–1909
William Alexander Harris.jpg
William A. Harris
Kansas Elected as a Populist 1897–1903
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Henry Heitfeld
Idaho Elected as a Populist 1897–1903
Joseph M. Dixon.jpg
Joseph M. Dixon
Montana Switched from Republican to Progressive in 1912 1907–1913
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Miles Poindexter
Washington Switched from Republican to Progressive in 1912, switched back to Republican in 1915 1911–1923
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Henrik Shipstead
Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor, switched to Republican in 1940 1923–1947
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Magnus Johnson
Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor 1923–1925
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Robert M. La Follette
Wisconsin Switched from Republican to Progressive in 1934, then back to Republican in 1946 1925–1947
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Elmer Austin Benson
Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor 1935–1936
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Ernest Lundeen
Minnesota Elected as Farmer-Labor 1937–1940
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James L. Buckley
New York Elected as a Conservative, lost re-election as a Republican in 1976 1971–1977
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Dean Barkley
Minnesota Appointed for Independence Party of Minnesota 2002–2003
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Joe Lieberman
Connecticut Re-elected on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket after losing the 2006 Democratic nomination. 1989–2013

Third-party members of the United States House of Representatives[edit]

Third-party United States governors[edit]

Third-party members of state legislatures in the United States[edit]

References[edit]